HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Rio Grande Valley is no stranger to extreme heat and that can pose a danger to dogs who are kept outside. Senate Bill 5 is aiming to improve laws to better protect dogs across Texas.
Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. authored Senate Bill 5. A previous version of the bill was vetoed by Governor Gregg Abbott in June. But Sen. Lucio is still making attempt at getting this bill passed. SB 5 would outline and clarify laws that make the unlawful restraining of dogs a criminal offense.
Palm Valley Animal Society said dogs being left outside in the heat can lead to serious health problems.
“[Dogs] have patches of skin that are missing because the heat is so bad they’ll chew on their skin and do things like that, because of the stress and the trauma that they are undergoing out in the heat with no water, no shade,” Julian Whitacre a PVAS spokesperson said.
Senate Bill 5 would improve rules listed in the state’s health and safety code for animals. Some of those rules include providing dogs shelter from extreme weather, a fitted collar, and leaving water to drink.
Even though there are laws that prohibit people from restraining dogs outside. Harlingen Humane Society Director Luis Quintanilla said the shelter still seeing animals who are left outside.
“It’s something we encounter all the time we get them into our facility every day and they come in all sorts of conditions, so I think anything that would help preserve their health while they are out in the community. I think it’s a good thing to strive for.”
So far Senate Bill 5 has passed the Senate and is waiting on full approval from the house before if heads to Abbott’s desk.
Valley animal shelters hope this bill can become law so more people can better understand the importance of taking care of animals outside.
“Leaving an animal outside in the heat is dangerous and considered animal abuse and so I think it is good for the community because it lets them know that this isn’t okay,” Whitacre said. “You need to give them some of these basic necessities and if you don’t there could be consequences.”
To see the full text of Senate Bill 5 click here.